tv [untitled] January 15, 2011 9:00pm-9:30pm PST
to keep my calendar close. thank you. president yee: any more questions or comments? if not, thank you very much. public comment. seeing none, public comment is closed. thank you very much. >> thank you. president yee: we will be inviting you to merchant association meetings. [laughter] next item, please. >> commissioners, item number nine, discussion of possible action to make recommendation to the board of supervisors on board of supervisors file number 101522, amending sections 18 4.69, 18 4.70, and
one in 4.72 to ban distribution of handbills on private premises unless the handles are securely placed upon are attached to and do not damage the premises, specifying a minimum of 30-point font size for "no handbills" signs, and making environmental findings. we have a director who sat on a task force. >> supervisor david dhu is the sponsor -- david chu is the sponsor of this legislation, but it was put together by a task force. we have someone from the neighborhood organization. in the task force, we also had the golden gate restaurant
association represented. we have made some changes which i think your good changes to the handle. -- which i think are good changes to the handbill ordinance. one thing donna had brought up was that in the old ordinance the size of notice not to post handbills was huge and big. if you had that on your building, it would not look very attractive. the font size was changed. and with the ability for, with donna's recommendation, to be able to make it look a little more attractive and to be able to put a tree on it as a reminder of saving trees, saving paper. other components are specific attaching requirements. another key component that i think is a significant change
for the better is we removed the misdemeanor elements of it. it takes it now out of the san francisco police department for enforcement. now it is administrative penalties, which puts it into dtw enforcement, which is who we tend to turn to for dealing with this matter. so it is going to give them a greater ability to be able to track. we have also set up a system within 311 by which people can call and make complaints. dpw is doing a greater education and outreach program. once the law passes, that information will be on there website in multiple languages. we will also be working with printers to print the handbills to work to educate them, to educate distributors.
i made a recommendation that we put the distributors' bundles on the handbills, but the city attorney said we are not able to do that. it still comes back to the business that is advertising. it is their responsibility. should they not be posted on the property correctly, or if they are posted on a property that says "no handbills," or if they end up in the street, causing lictor, that business is the one that is held accountable to it -- causing litter, that business is the one that is held accountable to it. i would like to invite donna up and to have her give a presentation from the neighborhood side. it was kind of fun working on this project together.
>> i am with the middle poke neighborhood association -- polk neighborhood association and collaborate with several residential neighborhood organizations. we combine with a safe space groups and neighborhood services groups. it has been great working on this project. i learned so much about how the city operates. i also am thrilled to have a project that i think is really rock-solid and will answer a lot of issues that many of us have concerning handbills, concerning advertising, concerning the cost to small businesses, concerning littering issues that neighbors have. by way of a small introduction, both my parents and my in-laws were small business owners.
i very much understand every little bit counts and every little bit makes a difference. i also clearly understand that having the health the merchant corridor -- healthy margin corridor is key to any neighborhood. our small businesses in san francisco mean everything to us. they define san francisco. the neighbors have been very concerned about the litter of handbills, menus, different types of advertising, and the ineffectiveness of current processes of saying "i do not want these." handbills continue to be left on doors, on porches, and on sidewalks, in spite of the wishes of the property owner, renter, etc.
there are also security concerns with leaving handbills. if you are not home, you do not want it to be so obvious you might be troubling. your place might be littered or might have a lot of different advertising in it. in addition, we also understand that it is the property resident's responsibility to keep their place clean. just because a menu happens to show up on your door does not relieve the renter, the owner, of the responsibility of keeping their porch and side or clean. that would remain with our solution. we met last spring with the hope that we would have a recommendation on this legislation before the july 1 fiscal budget. as we started getting into the issue, we realized there were many significant concerns that we needed to address before we
could say we have a better way to do it, we have an answer. i feel very good about what we've come up with. what we are recommending is instead of a sort of hard to define eight square inch sign being required for no handbills -- if you do the algebra right, that is about 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches to get a square inches. other people's interpretation of that would be you need something like that on your door, which many people, me included -- i do not want something ugly on my door. but i do want it to be known that i prefer not to have handbills and that i want advertisers who are going to spend their money not to come to me and waste their money on me, but to put that hard-earned money to people that want to get
advertising that way. it has gotten to be so severe that i have heard many neighbors who say, "if you put a handle on my door, i am not ever going to do business with you. i do not care where you are offering me." we have come up with a process that starts with a much more attractive sign. a 30 point font could be something like this. it says, "save a tree, reduce litter." it gives the ordinance no.. we also have an education program included in the plant where we will reach out to advertisers. we will reach out to printers. we will reach out to distributors and let them know there are new ways of doing this type of advertising in this city. finally, there is an enforcement component to this, which is sorely missing from the current
process. in theory, there should be enforcement, but there is not. right now, it falls under criminal penalties, which is ridiculous. i cannot mention anyone who is committing a crime by advertising with a handbill. this goes into administrative type of process if after several attempts of education and notification -- if you are not getting it, there is gentle prodding that you are not going to jail but you may have to pay a fine. i would be happy to answer any questions you have on this. this is the first time i have done anything like this. i am new at it. i apologize if i am not doing quite -- i have high hopes that this is going to do a lot to improve the situation for our city.
president yee: thank you so much for your good work. commissioner dooley: it is a great project. i am concerned about distributors versus small businesses. i have seen people in action. sometimes, they will dump their whole load in a corner. i just hope there is a lot of education going out there from small businesses to distributors. it is not ok just to toss them willy-nilly. i guess we have all seen them on a corner, where there will be 500 handbills dump somewhere. i would like to see as much our
reach as we can do have that eliminated. >> we represented small businesses in an extremely strong manner on this. we do not want small-business is to be hurt by this. we would hope that this process would give them more targeted advertising. if we could have listed distributors, there were many things we but that as far as other ways we can do it -- other things we can do to make sure there is no abuse of the system. we are a little bit hand tied by what the attorneys would let us do, in that the responsibility does rest with the small business, but we do know that the distributor and the printer also need to be part of this process. if we educate them properly, it can go a long way to making this
successful. >> just to add, as dawn said, the city attorney advised as we could not do that. that is why dpw will be doing some gentle reminders to the business. if a business gets one or two complaints, they will probably then talk to their distributor and maybe then look for a new distributor. the pressure on the distributor is hiring people to do the job they are paid to do. that might have to come from businesses putting pressure on the distributors. president yee: thank you. commissioner adams: i want to commend you for your work, and i want to commend the director for her work. there was a lot of outreach for this with a lot of small businesses. i know from several other neighborhood groups that there was. i am very happy that dpw is now
taking charge of this. when dpw is in charge, you see action. i am very pleased with this new ordinance. >> i can just go on my computer and create this in any fun? what are the other requirements for the sign? "requirement is that it be in a minimum 30 point font. -- >> the requirement is that it be in a minimum 30-point plunge. >> ideally, it would be great to get funding from organizations with something like "save a tree. it is not just small businesses. it is a little issue. it is something that concerns
all of us. take the high road, the area of common ground. commissioner dooley: a lot of us are involved with merchant organizations. i know that i am certainly going to carry it back and suggest we do something that symbolizes our neighborhood and promotes putting that out there i think that would be a great art project to have to work for each neighborhood through the neighborhood business association. president yee: thank you. we now open up to public comment. any public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. next item, please. >> commissioners, this is an action item. president yee: sorry.
commissioner o'brien: i am totally in agreement with this. i think we probably resent coming out to our porch and finding a lot of litter there. for those of us that have careers that involve property management, i can tell you it is a daily chore for us. unfortunately, our friends that occupy the building sometimes do not believe in cleaning up, and it is up to the guy that owns the building. that said, i am speaking from the heart here and thinking about the people who use that as a medium. they will have lost a source of advertisement that is affordable for them. if anybody can give you any
estimation for addressing that potential concern -- there are now much superior alternatives that can be cheap. you could relatively cheaply get a text servicing system that could allow you to communicate to people by phone or e-mail, or some other method except to sign onto that could be used as an alternative -- or some other method date accept -- they accept to sign onto that could be used as an alternative. >> this is not eliminating handbills. it is not eliminating that mode of advertising. handbills still can be used. what we are reaching for here is to have the handbills placed in
those places where people want them, and not have them left where people are offended by them or do not want them, and for example could have the negative effect i mentioned of many neighbors saying that if you leave him bills and i said i do not want them, i do not want to do business with you. so it has the opposite effect. but for those who want handbills and use those, it is still available. commissioner o'brien: there enough. i think that the people who are in that business would probably say from a business perspective my getting it out there, including catching the people who do not want it -- that works for me to get the word out there. as an average guy who does not like these things, the truth is that if i picked up one and it said -- i might say i will have
a chinese this evening, because i saw that. so the idea that we are going to have this division across the city, where people have indicated they do not want it and people have indicated that they do not mind -- i am a bit worried about how realistic that is. it is almost -- everybody is going to sign up to say "i don't want it," if they can do it and educated it is that easy. i would still think it might be nice if we could just try to think about giving some suggestions to the people who might be the most hit by the loss, even if it is only a limited number of households who put the sign up and other people don't. just some sort of support. i am just trying to think about maybe we could to think of that as an idea. >> that is certainly a fair
argument. i think i would look at you all as the experts there, and a great resource as far as what might help a small business that does not want to use this as a venue. is there a better and more efficient way to advertise? commissioner o'brien: that would be part of my discussion here. if the conclusion is we cannot do that, i would accept the conclusion. but i would like to investigate that for those people who are affected by it. there may be people there who are not well represented. we're the small-business advocate. they are small businesses. it would be nice if we could think of possibilities. if there are not, so be it. but i would like to a least have some thought given to that. >> again, this does not prohibit the use of that as a means of
advertising. thank you. commissioner o'conner: i had a couple of questions. >> i might be able to answer them. commissioner o'conner: does this piggyback on the legislation that supervisor mirkarimi passed a few years ago about newspapers? it is kind of similar. >> no. this is actually taking an already existing law and cleaning and up and clarifying it a bit more to address some of the concerns on the residential side while still maintaining a business's ability to advertise. commissioner o'conner: what will be fine or penalty be? i have probably heard this part. i was like. i'm sorry. >> i am sorry. i did not present that.
it does say here the director may issue administrative citations for violations for the san francisco administrative code in chapter 100. and i did not write down what that is. let me see if i can find it. let me see if we have it. they can be fined up to $250. i think dpw's approach is going to be first working with written warnings and having a hearing. there will have to be a hearing. at that hearing, there will be a little bit of an onus on the individual filing the complaint. commissioner o'conner: so, then,
summarizing where we are, from my perspective, as a city, because we are careening down the freeway towards complete city beautification and greenification and everything else that is going to maintain everybody's property values. i get the point of it. it seems right. but it is just another brick in the wall of making san francisco only for these people and not for these people. while we do not -- while we are put controls on this -- another thing was a supervisor a couple of years ago blocked all political campaign posters on public property, which i thought was pretty draconian. it was based on the perspective of beautification.
these are eyesores during campaign season. that is how people get the word out. this is a similar type of way. yes, i lived in hayes valley. i have signed for chinese or pizza on my door and i take them off. that is what i want to live in the city of san francisco. it is good, i guess, to give people the right to do this, to either accept them or not accept them. but when you start finding small businesses that have no advertising budgets, that every day have to be inundated by posters on buses, all this money the city gets to collect off of advertising -- but god forbid a small-business guy goes around a neighborhood and put flyers on people's doors. but that is where we are going. that is where we are.
further and further every year, we have more. >> this came out of a task force which i and our office was part of to kind of work to bring everybody involved together. dpw assembled the task force because of the number of complaints that did come through. i represented those concerns, but i think we came out with something that is not too far off from the original -- commissioner o'conner: i am not contesting this legislation. i am just pointing out that this is where we are going, and it is not stopping. how far is it going to go? it is going to keep going, you know? >> the other thing -- the other
components we can eventually take a look at is that there are a fair number of businesses that also are not utilizing some of the free resources they have with yelp or google, before getting into the text advertising for which you have to pay. i think that is part of things that the commission can work with the office of economic and work-force development in trying to find ways to really help those businesses better utilize some of the online resources. but it is similar -- this law is very similar to the no soliciting law, where you have to have a posted "no solicitors" to stop people from running your doorbell and soliciting money. -- from ringing your doorbell and soliciting money.
i think what we could do is perhaps we can have dpw give us some reports once this law is enacted in terms of the number of complaints that they are getting, if they do end up having to issue any fines and things of that sort. commissioner o'conner: thank you. i will make one final comment to fellow commissioners. we have talked about grant street and chinatown having problems and needing to be revitalized. i know there has been a lot of the conceit and small-business issuesthere have been issues on streets like union street. even another is not doing that great be a what street is doing that great? -- not doing great? what street is doing that great? there are skills of income, and there are not really fancy restaurants.
there are people coming to that street -- there are scales of income. is that going to the union street dead? as a city, where is that taking us? this is not about you or the legislation at this point. this is about small-business issues in san francisco and what is working and what is not working. these are issues we should be tackling. we should be tackling wiimote pergram's street is dead after 6:00, -- why grant street is dead. or how another turned into one overpriced boutique after another, and nobody wants to go.
valencia street is going to turn into one after another. i am sorry to talk about this while you are here, because it does not really concern me. but i do not think people are actually going to follow through with it. some will. that is their right, so they q4 listening. sorry. president yee riley: commissioner o'brien? commissioner o'brien: i understand the point where you're coming from. it is you a philosophical a conversation for this commission. the thing i focus my mind on it in regard to the fines, i think it would be nice if there were any possibility